Last season: 21-15 overall, lost in NIT second round
Nickname: Fighting Irish
Coach: Mike Brey
Conference: Atlantic Coast
Who’s gone: Forward Bonzie Colson (19.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg), point guard Matt Farrell (16.3 ppg, 5.5 apg), center Martinas Geben (11.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg).
Who’s back: Junior T.J. Gibbs (6-3 guard; 15.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg) and seniors Rex Pflueger (6-6 guard; 8.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg) and Elijah Burns (6-8 forward; 2.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg). Sophomore D.J. Harvey (6-6 guard-forward; 5.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg) played in just 19 games after suffering a knee injury that required season-ending micro-fracture surgery; he has looked good in his limited preseason drills. Juniors John Mooney (6-9 forward; 5.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Nikola Djogo (6-7 guard; 2.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg).
Who’s new: Junior Juwan Durham (6-11 forward) is a transfer from Connecticut. Freshmen class was ranked in top 10 by some outlets: Prentiss Gibbs (6-3 point guard), Nate Laszewski (6-10 forward), Chris Doherty (6-8 forward), Dane Goodwin (6-6 forward-guard) and Robby Carmody (6-4 guard).
The Skinny: In five previous ACC seasons, Irish have equalled or surpassed preseason expectations three times, winning the ACC Tournament in 2015 while making back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Elite Eight. Last season they were predicted to finish third, but injuries to Colson, Farrell and Harvey hampered the Irish, who were one of the last four teams out of the 68-team NCAA field.
Expectations: Las Vegas oddsmakers have Notre Dame at 120-1 to win the NCAA Tournament.
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